Although only four feet high, the pineapple plant grows a powerful fruit. This tropical plant blooms with red or purple flowers. The many small flowers meld together as they produce the fruit. Fresh pineapple is storehouse of many health-promoting compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. The fruit is low in calories (provides only 50 cal per 100 g); contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; and is a rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre like pectin.
Bromelain is an enzyme that distinguishes pineapples from all other fruits. This enzyme, which our body can absorb intact, has unique and powerful effects to support our health. To reap the advantages of bromelain, be sure to eat pineapple raw. Cooking or canning destroys this enzyme. The tougher circle of cells at the center of the fruit, which is the central stalk or stem, has more concentrated bromelain than the surrounding tender fruit has. Instead of throwing it away, you can cut the stalk into small pieces and put them into a blender to make smoothie where it will be ground up. If you prefer to only eat the soft part of the fruit, you will still be getting bromelain and other wonderful nutrients.
Here are 4 reasons to eat more fresh pineapple:
#1 Bromelain is well-known for its ability to prevent and speed the healing of bruises. These blue-black marks occur when small blood vessels (called capillaries) in our skin are ruptured and blood pools in the tissue under the skin's surface. Some cosmetic surgeons recommend this enzyme to reduce bruising after cosmetic procedures. Bromelain inhibits the formation of the blood clots that can block blood-circulation.
#2 Bromelain has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects that counter a range of chronic diseases and infections. Bromelain has been used to reduce inflammation in arthritis, sinusitis, inflammatory bowel disease, sports injuries, trauma, burns, prostatitis, and swelling after surgery. This enzyme may aid in reducing the effects of toxic organisms in our intestines as well as help antibiotics to work more effectively when we need to take them.
#3 Bromelain works to destroy cancer cells. In fact, bromelain is already used by some clinicians as part of the chemotherapy process. A 2011 study in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Carcinogenesis found that bromelain was effective in suppressing the growth of two kinds of human cancer cells, including melanoma cells. A 2010 study in the journal BioFactors showed that bromelain delayed growth and eventually induced the death of human breast-cancer cells.
#4 Pineapple is full of nutrients in addition to bromelain. Some highlights:
Manganese is a vitamin that our body can't produce on its own. We need to find daily sources of manganese from food we eat. Pineapple is a great source of manganese. Manganese is responsible for bone-formation, healing wounds, and keeping our skin healthy. It regulates blood-sugar levels, and helps with the immune system to fight off disease. Regularly eating pineapple will ensure you're consuming enough manganese in your diet.
Vitamin C is a 'water soluble vitamin', which means it doesn't store in the body. We need to take Vitamin C every day in order to replenish its levels. Pineapple is a great source to find a daily dose of Vitamin C. It helps in the formation of collagen which is a protein that grows new skin and blood vessels. Taking vitamin C is also believed to keep away the common cold.